Guy Le Gaufey – the Analyst Confronted with State Legitimacy

THE LETTER 01 (Summer 1994) pages 17-27

There are many ways of approaching this question: until now, it has mainly been presented as being a legal issue, especially when what is in question is primarily the making of new laws in Brussels today. Is it true that a sort of European status of the psychoanalyst is going to be landed on us soon? Are we going to be paying taxes as psychoanalysts (and if so, on what basis)? Don’t we need to be protected against all that? It is not that these questions are either worthless or out of place, but I want to stress that a lot more light needs to be shed on them so that we might arrive at answers which would be of any value.

In my opinion, all of these questions arise from the same single mistake: they identify purely and simply the analyst as a citizen, without paying any attention to the fact that such an identification is without foundation and that it is incorrect to pass from one of these qualities, that of being a citizen, to the other, that of being an analyst without noting and underlining the gap separating them. There is an obvious symptom of such a gap, at least for French analysts: no matter which school, group or association they belong to, there is no diploma which qualifies them as psychoanalysts, which clearly means that the state authority doesn’t recognise them as such. I am not trying to assert that all of them are happy with this situation: but as a point of departure we must take note of the fact that numerous generations of psychoanalysts have taken special care not to obtain such diplomas. Why?

At this point, I could assemble a lot of facts, or alleged facts, to describe historically the relations between analysts and the state authority in France, or I could try once more to give a commentary on Freud’s Lay Analysis. But I will limit myself solely to noting the apparent basis of this very special relationship between analysts and state authority. On the one…


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